Unveiling the Role of Spirituality in Addiction Recovery

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Substance abuse has had a devastating impact on the lives of millions in the United States. As substance use and abuse continue to ravage communities, researchers are working on treatment approaches that can ensure a successful recovery from addiction. Religious beliefs and spiritual practices in preventing use and relapse were commonly thought of in the past, however, as time went on and technology improved, spirituality in addiction has been overlooked in the world of new methodologies of treatment.

Most people feel a sense of nervousness when faced with spirituality due to its deep connection with religion and the fact that it is negatively seen and judged in that community. But spirituality is much more than just religion. Many may confuse religion with spirituality but they are quite different from each other. While religion can be described as a set of rituals, beliefs, and practices in respect to a defined God or gods, spirituality is an individual pursuit of purpose, existence, and self-power.

Celebrities witness the success of spirituality in addiction recovery.

There are many individuals in recovery who ascribe the accomplishment of their abstinence partially to spirituality during their holistic treatment approach. Although there other factors that contribute to lasting recovery such as routine consideration, family and support group therapy, and daily personal check-ups, spirituality is considered an important recovery component. Many celebrities, in particular, have been expressive about their fight with addiction and have credited their sobriety to their trust in a higher power. For example, well-celebrated Hollywood actor, Anthony Hopkins, was an alcohol-addict who is now celebrating more than 40 years sober. He gives credit for his sobriety to his faith in both God and Alcohol Anonymous.

There are many others who have expressed their religion or spiritual beliefs as playing a vital role in their abstinence. While there is no proof that faith can fully prevent someone from abusing a substance, it has been proven to play an important part in addiction recovery.

Researchers demonstrate the clinical significance of spirituality in addiction

A study conducted in 2015 and published by The NIDA Drug Addiction Treatment aimed to compare spiritual practices with relapse rates in individuals suffering from addiction. The dataset was used to examine post hoc relapse rates among 2,947 clients who were interviewed at 12 months after intake broken down by five spirituality measures.

These results demonstrate that spirituality and social bonds greatly contribute to holistic drug treatment programs, but are often overlooked.

Another study published by Betty Jarusiewicz in 2000, aimed to explore the connection between a person’s level of faith and spirituality to the success of addiction recovery. It revealed that recovering individuals had statistically higher levels of faith and spirituality than those continuing to relapse. Also, relapsing clients displayed considerably lesser levels of spirituality than those in recovery.

Ways to put spirituality into action

  • Practice gratitude
  • Pray and/or meditate
  • Practice honesty, kindness and humbleness
  • Learn new things
  • Socialize
  • Help Others
  • Be good to yourself and others
  • Exercise
  • Let go of pride
  • Improve the situation by supporting others

Treatment at AKUA

Focusing on your spiritual needs in treatment is just as vital as focusing on your physical ones. A comprehensive holistic approach to recovery takes into consideration the requirements of the mind and body in order to attain long-lasting success.

At AKUA Mind & Body , we understand that addiction affects both the physical and mental state of a person’s life. As part of our and comprehensive addiction and mental health treatment programs, we offer our patients with individual psychotherapy, family programs, medication management, and spiritual practices such as yoga, meditation, life skills classes and much more to help them live an addiction-free life. If you or someone you know is dealing with an addiction or any mental health issue, please can call our Confidential Admissions Line at 833-AKUA-NOW

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